Last Saturday I attended the opening reception of Collaborations at the Brooklyn Artists Gym. The exhibition focused on works created jointly by two or more artists. BAG is a fascinating place. It is is Gowanus, a very urban part of Brooklyn, surrounded by industrial and commercial buildings. There is a growing subculture of artists to be found there too.
BAG is many things. In addition to the gallery space, there are also studios for artists. And of course, many photo ops in the studio space as well...
Work Table Surface
There were nine collaborative projects exhibited in the show. The art was very varied...mixed media, installation art, collage, quilting, photography and book art. It shouldn't have all blended together but it really did.
Two of my collaborations were part of the show: Self Contained, my project with Vivian Bonder and Stephanie McAtee, and Winds of Change, my collaboration with Roxanne Evans Stout.
All of the pieces were displayed on the same shelf and people seemed genuinely excited to be able to touch the art and flip through the pages of the books.
During the exhibition, all the artists in attendance got a chance to say a few words about their projects and how they came to be. Listening to all the stories was the best part of the night for me. My collaborations were the only ones in the exhibition created by artists who had never met. People seemed fascinated by that and asked a lot of questions - such as how we had come to connect, how did the mailings work, and how was it possible to trust people that had never met with your artwork. That last questions really got me thinking about the beauty of our community, as the thought to distrust Roxanne, Viv and Steph had never once crossed my mind.
In all, the exhibition has been a wonderful experience and it was great to be able to share these collaborative artworks with a new audience. Collaborations closes February 6th, so any locals who might want to see the show should hop on the subway quickly. And don't forget to 'step lively and watch the closing doors.'